Get into Bed with Isobel Rey (Author Interview)

substitute

She’s driven by his desire…
It took all of Alexia’s courage to leave her abusive boyfriend and strike out on her own. When she lands a job at a glamorous sports agency, she thinks she finally has it made. But shy, blonde and beautiful, Alexia is totally unprepared for the fast sexual politics of rich men and ambitious women that is waiting for her. Most of all, she is totally unprepared for her dazzling but damaged new boss, Nathan Fallon.

Keira: It takes a lot of strength to walk away from domestic abuse. How does Alexia, in your book Substitute, gain her courage to do just that?

Isobel Rey: The kind of bullying that Alexia experiences is not obvious and overt, it’s the kind of drip, drip low grade bullying that builds gradually and erodes a woman’s confidence.  It’s insidious and creeps on her.    She gets the courage to leave when she realises how far she’s fallen, how he’s got into her head and under her skin to undermine her.    She looks at the closed door,  determined to sear the image in her mind to reinforce her decision to leave.    The decision to leave in these circumstances is often made after a small incident, it’s not the incident itself which prompts the action, but the cumulative effect of the bullying.   Something snaps in her head, and she knows she has to go.

Keira: Glamorous and sports? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Unless we’re talking about figure skating… are we?

Isobel: Well actually, having been around the world of sports promotion I can say that it is most definitely a glamorous world.   The world of Premiere League Soccer sees players who are paid millions, drive eye-wateringly expensive cars and sign multi-million pound sponsorship deals.    The world of tennis, Formula One racing, Soccer and now even Golf attract huge money, with the accompanying glamorous women and money hungry agents.  It’s a high octane world of partying, champagne and bed-hopping.

Keira: So what’s office politics like in Substitute and does it differ from normal life?

Isobel: The office politics in Substitute is typical of the type of business that attracts big money in any capital city in the world.   Any workplace where the stakes are high and naked ambition rubs up against huge egos is going to look like this.   I’ve worked in these workplaces!

Keira: Tell us about Nathan Fallon, her new boss? How is he damaged?

Isobel: Nathan is a soldier, an officer.   So many veterans suffer quietly with Post Dramatic Stress Syndrome because they don’t talk about their experiences.     In order to operate in the theatre of war, like Iraq or Afghanistan, they have to put some of their emotions away in a box in order to survive some of the horrors they see or the violence they are forced to commit to survive.     Nothing can prepare you for killing other human beings, not even in battle. They also suffer from a condition called Hyper-Vigilance, having been in threatening situations for 24 hours a day.     They then come home and find it difficult to reconnect with loved ones or new relationships.   Some cope better than others.  But Nathan has been rejected by the woman he thought would be there for him.    The thought of her kept him going during the fighting, but he feels a deep sense of betrayal when he comes home.  He’s an officer and a gentleman and has a huge sense of honour, loyalty and integrity.    He finds it very difficult to let that go.

Keira: Did your advertising experience help in the writing or publishing of this novel?

Isobel: Yes it did.    The world of advertising brings you into contact with all types of industries, including sports promotion.    I witnessed this world first hand, and let me tell you it’s no exaggeration!

Keira: How do you define love?

Isobel: Love is about complete trust and acceptance.    If you find the right person, they will be the best company in the world, and the one person you want to talk to first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.   They allow you to fly like a kite,   but they anchor you, so you don’t get blown off course.

Keira: What makes a great Happily Ever After? What’s required?

Isobel: A great happily ever after has to be realistic.   There’s no guarantee that the prince will love the princess in 5 years when the kids are screaming and the nannies have handed in their notice.    But if the two people involved are grounded enough to understand each other and want to accept everything about the other person then that happy ending is believable.

Keira: Any advice you’d give your younger self now that your first book is published?

Isobel: The personal advice I would give myself is never worry what other people think of you, the only people that count will accept you as you are.    And I’d give myself some professional advice as a writer – spend more time observing people and what makes them tick.

Keira: What are your favorite writing rituals that help put you in the writing mood?

Isobel: I like to take the weekend off and go to the coast, and sit in cafes by the beach with my laptop and headphones.   Listening to great music by the ocean really lets me switch off and get writing.

Keira: What’s up for you next?

Isobel: This is my first book in this genre, and I was encouraged to write it because of the types of world I get a window into from my job.    The book has been so well received that I think the next book will focus on a different world.      Haven’t decided which one yet!

Buy: Substitute

Review: Thornbrook Park (Thornbrook Park, Book 1) by Sherri Browning

thornbrook parkReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: After the death of her husband, Eve Kendal has only one option when she is disowned by her parents for marrying beneath her. She must leave India and go to London to live with her friend Lady Sophia Averford. The place that has become a new home for her is called Thornbrook Park, and the Dower House is where she will be living for the duration of her stay. Although she is in dire circumstances, she does have a plan for the future. An investment her husband put aside for her will come to fruition soon and when it does, she will use the money available to buy her own house.

Review: The synopsis sounds like the perfect start to Eve’s life, but life is not that reliable when other people are concerned and before long we find that an unscrupulous investor has stolen the money her husband had invested for her, and she is left with nothing. No future and no house to be hers. At least that is what she thinks until she meets Marcus and is instantly attracted to him. Unfortunately for her, he is betrothed to Alice, at least as far as Sophia is concerned, so he is out of bounds to her romantically. That doesn’t stop her having feelings for him though, and the feelings are reciprocated. In fact his interest runs so far that he is willing to help her uncover the mystery of her stolen money and make accountable the cad who stole it.

Good bits:

  • The initial meeting between Eve and Marcus.
  • The setting of the story. Thornbrook Park sounds like a wonderful place.
  • The other characters all have something interesting to hide, so be prepared for some revealing side stories.

Bad bits:

  • It took a long time to get to the good bits.
  • Some of the characters could have been left out.

Summary: As it is set in 1906, the story does mention what happened during that time and how difficult it was for most people who didn’t grow up with wealth. If readers like the period TV series such as Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice, this is one that will thrill readers as some of the characters are believable as is the setting. Eve’s affair with Marcus might sound like a great one for her, but Marcus has problems of his own as he feels the guilt of being alive while many of his friends he served with in the war died.

[Rating:5]

Buy: Thornbrook Park (A Thornbrook Park Romance)

Review: You Belong to My Heart by Nan Ryan

you belong to my heartReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

The setting is Civil War-era Tennessee.

Mary Ellen Preble goes down to the river but gets a surprise when she gets there. Clayton Knight grew up alongside Mary Ellen. As you read this story, you will find that it is linked with actual historical figures. It shows the amount of research or love for the time period that went in to developing this story.

If you like setting your ambience as you get into the mood for reading, I can almost picture reading while sitting on a swing under a huge tree. There would be a gentle breeze and the dress would have to be one from that time period – and don’t forget the bonnet. Or maybe you’re even sitting on a blanket under said tree waiting to enjoy a picnic with your true love.

Maybe you like to travel. Why not take this book and travel around the state of Tennessee and learn about some of the state’s history. It may sound a little morbid but why not go to an old cemetery and find a comfortable spot to sit, read, and try to think if some of those people around you were friends with our couple.

I had no trouble picturing everything in my mind because this author’s descriptions are that good. Nan shows the reader how two people can go from first love, to summer love, and then to a forever love. But with any first love, life and parents can get in the way.

We also see the sad parts – one being a female during that time period. Women had few choices back then and it seemed as if it was always the wife’s fault if the husband didn’t get the things he wanted – just a big bully. It’s also a reminder of how far we have come with a lot of things. But pain doesn’t change no matter if it’s the 1800’s or now.

It also must have been a hard book to write since we know how some of it ends. But you can still feel the emotions that come alive with Nan’s words. If you love(d) the film “Gone With The Wind”, this would make a great follow up. It helps to fill in some of the more romantic scenes that they couldn’t shoot back in the 1930’s.

As you get toward the end, just like the family members of the military, this author has the reader holding their breath until they find out for sure if the main characters got their happily ever after. But you have to keep reading because you want to know if you’re going to be right or wrong. I’ve been reading all types of romance novels for a long time and it’s sad to say that this is the first Nan Ryan book I have ever read. Now that I have, I know it won’t be that long before I read another one. And I hope you won’t wait as long as I did. And if you love a good historical romance, you will get your money’s worth with this book.

[Rating:4]

Buy: You Belong to My Heart

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Review: When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries

When the Rogue ReturnsHero: Victor Cale just recently learned of his wife’s whereabouts after she abandoned him and said their marriage was a mistake. She left him to face the consequences of the crime she and her family colluded to and executed so effortlessly under his nose. He plans to confront her and seek justice for all the injuries they and she inflicted on him through their perjury. His broken heart is at the top of that list.

Heroine: Isa Cale, hiding under an assumed name, Sofe Franke, is angry and frightened when her husband shows up in Edinburgh ten years after he deserted her. Why is he there? Why now? What does he want? Does he know of their child? Does he want to trick her or force her into illegal activities again? Well, he’s about to find out that Isa is not the timid little mouse he married. She’s got teeth and she’s willing to do what it takes to protect her daughter.

Review: It’s clear from the beginning that the hero and heroine are laboring under a big misunderstanding. A decade spent apart and a series of lies has torn their fledging marriage into two and two hearts are grieving for the loss of a love they both thought was true. Their double-speak when they first meet again is quite entertaining. Victor’s reaction to Isa’s feelings, about the pet name he gave her, is particularly heart-wrenching. He did not realize he’d been so misunderstood! He’s quick to come up with an alternative. Both are unique to the heroine and I love that. What great about this novel is that Sabrina Jeffries knits both hearts, both characters, slowly back together. Trust is a big issue for them both and it’s a delight to see them work through the fabrications and make amends for back judgments in the past. It’s also nice to know that even while they trust, they did both still have doubts and had to fight to overcome them time and again. It made for a realistic read. I also enjoyed that the story took place outside of the usual London setting. Not a book to be missed!

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men)

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Excerpt: A SEAL’s Salvation by Tawny Weber

A SEAL's Salvation cover_1Subject: Navy SEAL Petty OfficerBrody Lane
Current Status: On leave

Obstacle: The one girl who was off-limits…

Where Navy SEAL “Bad Ass” Brody Lane goes, trouble follows. Being run out of his hometown years ago for misbehaving with Genna Reilly—the sheriff’s daughter—was one thing. Now Brody is about to step into real danger. Not the suggestive letters he’s been exchanging with Genna, but the kind of trouble that can send a soldier home injured and broken inside…

Genna’s entire life has been orchestrated by her family.
 The right job. The right friends. Enough! Brody’s return offers the promise of lust-filled pleasures. Of flesh teased and tasted. She’s not expecting to find a soldier with distant eyes who has secluded himself from the world. But this good girl knows exactly how to bring a bad boy back to life….

Uniformly Hot! The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.

Buy: A SEAL’s Salvation (Uniformly Hot!)

Excerpt:

She was so damned cute when she got feisty. Brody couldn’t help but smile a little. Actually, she was so damned cute all the time, feisty or not. And sexy. Fascinating, entertaining, fun.

His smile fell away.

Maybe that was part of the problem.

He’d thought they could be friends. He hadn’t been able to resist spending time with her, and had thought he could control the intense attraction he felt for her. That he could channel it into making up for some of the lousy deal she’d gotten after he’d left.

But he felt as if he’d signed up for a torture project. Days spent talking and joking. Watching her bake, listening to her dreams. Nights spent hard and horny, diving into dreams so hot he thought the bed was on fire. He was a man used to pushing through the pain, well trained to overcome his body’s weaknesses. Except, apparently, the ones Genna inspired.

“Look,” he said, taking a deep breath and hoping for some semblance of tact and diplomacy. “This friendship thing, it was a mistake.”

Her eyes widened, surprise and hurt flashing. Then, with a sweep of her lashes, her expression changed. Intensified. It sent an itch down Brody’s spine.

“We’re not going to be friends anymore?” she asked in a calm, friendly tone. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was saying the right words, he’d have figured she hadn’t understood him.

As soon as he nodded, she gave him a brilliant smile and tossed off her coat. It hit the floor with a swoosh just as she reached behind her back. The move was quickly accompanied by the sound of a zipper. And Brody’s hiss.

“What, exactly, do you think you’re doing?” he asked, hoping like hell it wasn’t what he thought she was doing.

“Seducing you.”

Damn.

That’s what he’d been afraid of.

Buy: A SEAL’s Salvation (Uniformly Hot!)

Tawny Weber Author Photo croppedBio & Links

USA TODAY Bestselling author of over twenty hot books, Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first Harlequin Blaze hit the shelves in 2007. A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking and hanging out on Facebook.

Readers can check out Tawny’s books at her website, www.tawnyweber.com, or join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, complete first chapter excerpts, recipes, insider story info and much more.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Buy: A SEAL’s Salvation (Uniformly Hot!)